Oxford United must play with no fear, says new boss

9:30am Wednesday 9th July 2014

By David Pritchard

MICHAEL Appleton used his first meeting with Oxford United’s players to call for them to stick to their strengths and play without fear.

The new head coach is well aware time is of the essence after starting work on Monday, just over a month before the start of the Sky Bet League Two season.

He is keen to bring in new players quickly, but also wants to get to know those already at the club.

Appleton spoke briefly to the squad to lay out his plans, and the former Portsmouth and Blackburn boss intends to lead by example.

He said: “I told them there’s going to be no Robert de Niro speeches. You’ll know what my qualities are and you’ll see what I’m about over the next days, weeks and months with the professionalism I bring to the party.

“I expect them over a period of time to come and introduce themselves to me and tell me about themselves.

“That’s how I work. I always have an open door and I’m quite an easy guy to get on with as long as you do your job properly.

“I just want the players to express themselves.

“Whatever qualities they bring to the team – do it without fear.

“Whether you’re someone who defends well, a good passer or like to attack people, stick to your strengths and relax.”

Dave Kitson is the only U’s player who has worked with Appleton before, when the pair were at Fratton Park during the 2011-12 season.

The rest will have to learn how the new boss wants to play, their first outing coming with the start of the pre-season games at Farnborough this Saturday.

Appleton believes his sides have a track record of attractive football but also acknowledged there was a need to be pragmatic.

He said: “Most people are going to say ‘I want an open brand of football’.

“They use all the right words and to be fair, with 90 per cent of them, that is what they want.

“With my background I think the majority of sides I’ve been with have always played good football.

“But on the other hand, you have to find a way to win.

“There will be occasions between November and January where the weather isn’t fantastic and there will be situations where we need to find a way to win when we’ll have our backs to the wall.

“Hopefully we have enough personalities and strength of character to do that.”

Latest Sport news

Dream bet on my old clubs failed to deliver

Oxford Mail:

4:00pm Wednesday 1st October 2014

MICHAEL DUBERRY COLUMN

WATCH: London Welsh v Gloucester rugby highlights

Oxford Mail:

12:00pm Wednesday 1st October 2014

Here are the official Aviva Premiership highlights from London Welsh v Gloucester at the Kassam Stadium. Welsh went down 46-10, despite trailing just 15-10 on the hour mark.

CRICKET: Paceman Brooks still harbours England ambition

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Wednesday 1st October 2014

JACK Brooks says he still dreams of an England cap after being drafted back into the Lions set-up.

RUGBY: Dark Blues make it three out of three

Oxford Mail: rugby generic

8:20am Wednesday 1st October 2014

OXFORD University made it three wins from three this season with a 38-0 victory over Henley Hawks last night.

FOOTBALL: Fairview hit back to draw

Oxford Mail: football generic

8:00am Wednesday 1st October 2014

Struggling Wheatley Youth and Fairview each picked up their first point of the season as they played out a 2-2 draw in the Oxford City FA.

FOOTBALL: Riverside duo see red after trading blows

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Wednesday 1st October 2014

Riverside finished with nine men after two players were sent off for fighting among themselves during their 2-2 draw at Freeland in the Oxfordshire Senior League Premier Division.

SCHOOLS' FOOTBALL: Spruyt sets Vale up for high five

Oxford Mail: football generic

8:00am Wednesday 1st October 2014

Vale of White Horse opened their ESFA Under 15 PlayStation Inter Association Trophy campaign with a 5-1 win over Cannock & District in the first round.

RACING: Candy signs off Master for season

Oxford Mail: Music Master (second right) beats Red Rocker (left) to take the Alex Scott Maiden Stakes

8:00am Wednesday 1st October 2014

Music Master, Wantage trainer Henry Candy’s star sprinter, misses the Qatar Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp on Sunday and will not run again this season.

RACING: Trouble has Case eyeing more glory on big stage

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Wednesday 1st October 2014

Success on the big stage has whet Ben Case’s appetite for more high-profile triumphs this season.

FOOTBALL: Banbury move off bottom after bizarre dismissal

Oxford Mail: football generic

7:30am Wednesday 1st October 2014

BANBURY United moved off the bottom of the Premier Division table with an impressive 2-0 victory over Cambridge City last night.

Back

© Copyright 2001-2014 Newsquest Media Group

Oxford Mail: site_logo http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk

Click 2 Find Business Directory http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/trade_directory/